The EU and China’s Perceptions of Democracy and Their Impact on China-EU Relations

  • Stefanie Weil
  • Yijia Jing


Being two major locomotives of economic globalization, the EU and China have fundamental divergences in their views on a just political system. Such divergences hinge on their perceptions of democracy and its appropriate role in bilateral and multilateral contexts. Although democracy as an idea has been embraced by both sides, it has been a consistent source of misunderstandings and conflicts. Major divergences exist at two levels. First, the EU and China disagree regarding whether China is a democracy. While the EU treats China’s political system as undemocratic, China believes that the current system reflects its national conditions and has performed well in accommodating democracy. Second, the EU believes that democratic values can be externally promoted while China opposes external intervention. China treats democracy as purely a domestic issue.


Political System Chinese Communist Party Deliberative Democracy Democratic System Strategic Partnership 
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© Stefanie Weil and Yijia Jing 2012

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  • Stefanie Weil
  • Yijia Jing

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